Here’s a thing I say frequently:
It’s an observation, not a judgement.
I say this because I comment on things without thinking of the impact of those comments. I share information that I find interesting that is never meant to be a slight on someone (either directly or indirectly) but can often be taken in such a way. I notice and observe behaviours—out loud—and don’t often consider the consequences to the person about whom I’ve made those observations. I ask why; why would you do that? Which people find offensive. Which, I’ve learned, they interpret to mean I’m judging them/their choices. Which I’m now learning could be part of autism—and not because I’m very Virgo.
Virgo people are frequently maligned for being pedantic, judgemental, aloof, hypercritical, neurotic, ruminative, unwilling to adapt, inflexible, hard to satisfy, too detail oriented, and for always wanting things their own way. While they are worded differently, I’ve noticed many of these traits also appear on the list of symptoms of autism. I’m not making a comparison between astrology and autism–mostly because I don’t believe in astrology. But I now find it troubling that many of my behaviours, which may have been the presentation of autism, I have minimised and laughed off as “just being a Virgo”.
When I first began living with G, he struggled with my constant comments—which he took as criticisms. That wasn’t entirely my fault. Historically, he’d felt belittled and criticised in previous relationships, so his reaction was from a place where comments were not neutral. But for me, attempting to understand why other people do the things they do, or say the things they say, happens out loud. With questions. With comments.
But not with malice. Not with judgement.
My comments do not come from a trait of criticism but instead, from a state of curiosity. An attempt to process the world and the people in it.
I want to know the why of everything.
It’s one of the things that makes me good at my job.
But it doesn’t make me good with people.
And so, after yet another comment, I find myself repeating: it’s an observation, not a judgement.
And, when something I say comes across the wrong way, I’m sorry.
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